2020 Schedule of events is here!
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President's Letter

By Michele Worden, AEMG

Walking the dog in the autumn gloom, it seems like the leaves are glowing.  There is the unmistakable damp, earthy smell of change. Fall is a time of transition.  We feel sad at summers passing, but look forward to what the next season will bring.

Fittingly, we had the MGANM election for our new board in November at our annual meeting and dinner.  Association members voted to approve a slate of directors and officers. We need fresh faces to continue to be impactful, so we welcome new friends and say “au revoir” to old ones. Being a Master Gardener is all about creating positive impact for the community through our volunteer work.

As a board, we need to be mindful of our impact too.  To that end, we have continued to strive to reduce paperwork in the administration of the Association, because shuffling paperwork is not the most impactful use of our time.  One area that still has a heavy paperwork load is processing renewals and luncheon payments for the volunteer recognition luncheon/dinner.

I know that our Treasurer would prefer to measure her community impact by the hours she spends in a master gardener community garden project, rather than the hours she spends entering checks into Quickbooks, and standing in line at the bank to deposit them.  This work is streamlined and reduced by electronic online payments. Please help Glynis get back in the garden by registering and paying online!

Don't forget that you can earn volunteer hours in the winter by contributing to The Real Dirt. Your time to research and write articles is a good way to spend time during those snow days.

Thank you for all you do!


Planting Flower Bulbs

By Lisa Hagerty, EMG Trainee and The Real Dirt Editor 

Fall is the time of year to plant flower bulbs, but there is a lot more thought that goes into planting bulbs than simply dropping them in the ground. Read more for insight to help you with your bulb planting!

Tomato mites. Photo by Lisa Hagerty


Spider Mite Controls
By Lisa Hagerty, The Real Dirt Editor and MG trainee

As the cool weather arrives, those of us with gardens still fruiting can breathe an air of relief. Thankfully, spider mites prefer hot, dry weather. I know my own struggle with mites has been a long one, which prompted me to do some research on the subject. I found a few informative articles to share with you here.

Lady beetles


Landscaping for Our Friends the Bees, Butterflies and Beneficial Insects
By Nancy Popa, EMG

Bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects have specific needs to thrive and we need them to pollinate our plants. In the following article, Nancy provides some tips to help us address their needs while selecting the best plants and their location in our yard or garden.

News & Events

There are so many wonderful events and workshops happening in our community that we simply cannot list them all. Please be sure to check directly with the websites and Facebook pages for these organizations and the events that they offer:
Botanical Gardens at Historic Barns Park, Boardman River Nature Center (Grand Traverse Conservation District), Plant it Wild, Wild Ones, NW Michigan Invasive Species Network, NW Michigan Horticulture Research Center, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Saving Birds Thru Habitat, Benzie Conservation District, Leelanau Conservation District, and Leelanau Conservancy.


The educational meetings are held at The Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City from 6:30 to 8:00pm with a potluck at 6:00pm, unless otherwise noted. They are open to the public but a $5 donation from non-members is appreciated.   

Our 2020 calendar

Tuesday January 7: Plant Diagnostics with Dr. Nate Walton, MSUE Home Horticulture Educator
Tuesday February 4: Invasive Species in Gardens and on the Horizon with Katie Grzesiak, Invasive Species Network
Tuesday, March 3: Growing Herbs with Michele Worden, Member of Herbal Renewal study group and MGANM President
Tuesday, April 7: Hot Plants for 2020 with Jeanine Rubert, Pinehill Village Gardens
Tuesday, May 5: Gardening for Water Quality with Carolyn Thayer, Designs In Bloom
WEDNESDAY June 17: Native Ferns with Angie Lucas, GTRLC, *Joint Program with Plant It Wild
Tuesday, August 4: Viticulture of Old Mission Peninsula with Thomas Todar, MSUE Viticulture Educator. Includes a TOUR of two vineyards followed by dinner nearby.
Tuesday, September 1: Forest Health with Kama Ross, Conservation District Forester for Benzie, Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties
Tuesday, October 6: Designing with Woody Ornamentals with Brian Zimmerman, Four Season Nursery 


Native Grasses and General Update: MGANM September Meeting Notes

By, Nancy Larson, MG   

In the following article, Nancy sums up the September meeting nicely by writing about the topics covered as the president of MGANM opened the September meeting. In her recap, Nancy also includes a brief summary about the presentation given by our special guest, Vern Stephens. 

Leelanau Christian Neighbors Food Gardens


Calling All Gardeners
By Lisa Hagerty, EMG Trainee and The Real Dirt Editor

The Real Dirt represents a community of Master Gardeners and we need help from our community for the January issue. While we have always focused on the four main categories that matter to us most: Nourish, Beautify, Steward and Serve, we recently added a category for IPM. We strive to have stories that fall into each of these categories with every issue, but we don’t always reach our goal. 

Did you know you can earn volunteer hours to write for The Real Dirt? You can write about the MGANM monthly meeting you attended… write about the tree or shrub or bulbs you planted…write about the trouble you are having with one of your indoor plants and the steps you took to address it. Did you go to the library, or search online to see what others are saying? Where did you get your information? Share what you find with us. You can write about anything and everything that is plant, yard or garden related, as long as it’s relevant to the current time of year. Remember, you don’t need to be the best writer to share a story or some insight into a topic that other Master Gardeners might benefit from. Just do your best. If it needs a little sprucing up, we will take care of it! 

If you are interested at any time, please send an email to me at Please consider joining us in our writing efforts!

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